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  1. I am interested in learning more about the several QDRO-outsourcing services available in the retirement-services markets, and hope to get information from BenefitsLink mavens’ wide experience. Of the big recordkeepers, which ones offer a service of deciding whether an order is a qualified domestic relations order? For those that offer a service, does the service provider accept responsibility as a fiduciary to the extent of its QDRO-or-not decisions? Or does the QDRO service provider get the plan’s named fiduciary to instruct the service provider to follow a written procedure it designed so that the service provider is not a fiduciary? I have seen QDRO service procedures that authorize the service provider to approve as a QDRO only an order that is identical (but for the names and addresses, and filling-in the amount or percentage to set over to the alternate payee) to a specified form of order. All else the service provider turns back to the plan’s administrator. How common is this way of doing a QDRO service? If a QDRO service procedure is not so limited as described in the preceding paragraph, what techniques does the procedure use to get rid of discretion? Do other recordkeepers or third-party administrators offer a service of deciding whether an order is a qualified order? Again, does one design it to be fiduciary or non-fiduciary? Are there are any “stand-alone” QDRO service providers that are not a part of or affiliated with a recordkeeper or third-party administrator? What methods do they use? If your customer says it wants to outsource QDRO decisions, what service provider do you suggest to your customer?
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